Obviously, we have experienced unbelievable economic growth & expansion in the DFW area without current population at 7.1 million. The population of Collin County has almost doubled since the year 2000 with the 2017 population counting at just under one million – 914,127 Plano is the 4th largest city in this area and is presently the largest city in Collin County. However, Celina will one day be the largest city in Collin County. As one of the pastors at Prestonwood in Plano, Kelley shared that one day the Prestonwood campus in Prosper will be larger than the campus in Plano.Population by Race/Ethnicity The Asian population in Plano accounts for 19% of the total population. This is 3 times greater than the US average over any city in America. Councilman Kelley shared that the diversity of the city of Plano (and Collin County) will continue to get more diverse every day. Major Employers Toyota is all the buzz right now in Plano. This October, they will be moving into their headquarters officially, but they’ve already proven to be a great corporate citizen to the city of Plano. Toyota has already given a $1.5 million grant for senior citizens in the form of Lyft, Uber, etc., transportation vouchers to medical appointments. In addition, all parks in Plano now have Wifi thanks to Toyota. None of the Toyota executives are moving to Plano – they are buying property north of Plano. Most are coming from California. The Toyota CEO said the #1 reason why they moved the company here was that he wanted a better quality-of-life for his workers (affordable homes, lower taxation, lower cost of living, less traffic, etc.). Challenges Facing Plano Challenge #1: Water Most people do not realize the extreme macro- and micro-issue challenges affecting our water supply here in North Texas. The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) has 13 member cities (Plano being one) and 22 customer cities (customer cities pay a higher rate). In order to change the terms and conditions, the member cities have to vote and agree 13-0. This is challenging because the member cities have widely varying needs and challenges (i.e. Plano’s challenges are much different from Royce City’s challenges), and they can vote against each other. NTMWD did not invest in their infrastructure. There is now a new management team in place and they’re investing in their infrastructure now. But water prices will go up 10% this year and next year because the water plant has to be updated and built out. Challenges:
- Had to build $400 million filtration plant after zebra muscle issue in Lake Texoma a few years ago.
- Boundary disagreement over Lake Texoma split the new filtration plant down the middle and caused that project to be put on hold for over a year until a legislative vote freed it up.
- Getting a new reservoir – a new water source – takes 30 years with a seemingly impossible EPA process.
- Lake Lavon was built for water control – not as a reservoir. But it’s being used as a reservoir.
- It takes 3 gallons of Lake Lavon water mixed with 1 gallon of Lake Texoma water (because of sodium level so high in Lake Texoma) to make the water acceptable for drinking.
- Plano tests their water from NTMWD four times a day. Because the Plano water system was built to push water through and not store it, summertime is difficult because water sits. If a test result is unacceptable, water must be flushed. If you see a hydrant that is blowing out (even during water restrictions – which will be the norm now, by the way), it is because of a bad test result. That water must get out of the system.
- Here’s the biggest issue between Plano & the water district: we have to pay for water we don’t use. The most water Plano ever used was 2.7 billion gallons, so Plano is required to buy 2.8 billion gallons of water. But then conservation came and now Plano does not use as much water. This means we have paid $78 million for water we don’t use and $13 million for water we couldn’t use (water that had to be flushed). Plano asked the NTMWD to take the water we don’t use and sell it. They will not allow that. So the City of Plano is suing the water district. The City is also asking the PUC to change the methodology of the water rates so they are re-examined to off-set the 10% increases. Under the current terms, it will continue increasing.